Minecraft for Music! – Noteblocks

I have been using Minecraft in a lot of my own lessons. I have started showing students how to code and you will have seen some of my resources in other pages. These lessons have been successful in showing many of our students how to get into coding and they’ve been successful in breaking down many of the gender gaps. I’m really enjoying Minecraft, particularly because it tricks students into learning 😛

Examples of this would include the use of problem solving. When students can’t create the circuit or they’re unable to do something, they keep trying! Think about what students are like with other video games. If they die…. they get frustrated and attempt the level until they can complete it. Using Minecraft has helped the students improve their concentration and determination.

I’m usually making resources which are useful for myself and I like to share these resources, but I got thinking about friends who teach music. Some schools have reported that the numbers of students taking music has dropped. Wouldn’t it be great if you could bring their enthusiasm back? Well you can start to do this with Noteblocks. You may have seen music videos around the internet. I’ve been using Minecraft for about a year now, I had seen people creating songs by Katy Perry and thought that it might be quite difficult. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

  1. You simply start up a level in creative mode (unless you want to find 8 pieces of wood and redstone).
  2. Find the redstone tab and grab the following contents: – Noteblock / Redstone / Repeater / Redstone Torch
  3. Build a block by right clicking in a flat world – Right click on it again to hit it, the note will change each time.
  4. Connect some redstone to it.
  5. Turn it on with the torch and you will have your sound


Image courtesy of : – http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Note_Block 

I started browsing the internet after thinking about the different sounds I would need and realised you can change the instrument by using different blocks underneath your noteblock! You can find this out in the PDF I’ve produced.

minecraftmusicNow, maybe you want your sound to continue. You can do this using something called a repeater. This allows you to slow down the circuit. Each time you click on it, you can slow it down even more. You can even add one repeater in front of another which slows down some more. When you’re happy, light the torch and listen to your master piece. I’ve put together a video tutorial and a sample lesson plan for you below. I’ve also included a video tutorial which should help you.


If you have any further questions, please email me at chambers_r@ucc.rutland.sch.uk

About Raymond David James Chambers

I am the Lead teacher of computing at Brooke Weston Academy in Corby Northamptonshire. Previously I was the head of IT/Computing at Uppingham Community College. In 2015 I won the Gold National Teaching award for Innovative use of technology. I also won the 2015 Young Game Bafta - Mentor award. I'm keen to help students achieve their best and like to give them opportunities to do this. I have a passion for teaching and I enjoy meeting other people and sharing their ideas. I have a keen interest in games development as well as developing the use of ICT in classrooms across the curriculum. In my spare time I teach Irish dancing. I have been Irish dancing since I was 11. My highest position was 14th at the world championships 3 years running and 2nd at the Great Britain Championships in 2006.
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